Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

How much can God do with one person? Very often we know that something should be done, but we are waiting on others to do it. Jonathan and his armor bearer were sitting in an impossible situation, between two steep, sharp, and rocky cliffs (1 Samuel 14:4). They were literally between a rock and a hard place!

While everyone waited on someone else to make a move, Jonathan believed that one plus God is a majority. In essence, He said, "Let's go! The Lord can take care of us whether we face many or few." In his impossible situation, Jonathan was confident of God's saving power.

Verse 15 of 1 Samuel 14 says, "Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army. . . . And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified." Who do you think sent the panic and the earthquake in response to Jonathan's faith? God, of course!

God is really looking for just one person who will step out in faith, and when He finds that person, He starts to move. What if you are that person? Take the first step, make your move, and watch God make His move!

1 Samuel 14:1-52

14 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Saul was stayingS Jdg 4:5 on the outskirts of Gibeah1Sa 13:15 under a pomegranate treeS Ex 28:33 in Migron.Isa 10:28 With him were about six hundred men,among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’sS Ge 35:18 brother Ahitub1Sa 22:11, 20 son of Phinehas, the son of Eli,S 1Sa 1:3 the Lord’s priest in Shiloh.Ps 78:60 No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

On each side of the pass1Sa 13:23 that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh.One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.S Jos 18:24

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcisedJdg 14:3; 1Sa 17:26, 36; 31:4; Jer 9:26; Eze 28:10 men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. NothingS 1Sa 13:22; S 1Ki 19:12; S Mt 19:26; Heb 11:34 can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by manyJdg 7:4 or by few.Ps 33:16

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us.If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them.10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our signS Ge 24:14 that the Lord has given them into our hands.S Jos 2:24

11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The HebrewsS Ge 14:13 are crawling out of the holes they were hidingS 1Sa 13:6 in.”12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.Jdg 8:16

So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand1Sa 17:46; 2Sa 5:24 of Israel.”

13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him.14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

Israel Routs the Philistines

15 Then panicS Ge 35:5; S Ex 14:24; S 19:16; 2Ki 7:5-7 struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding1Sa 13:17 parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.Or a terrible panic

16 Saul’s lookouts2Sa 18:24; 2Ki 9:17; Isa 52:8; Eze 33:2 at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions.17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, “Muster the forces and see who has left us.” When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.

18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring1Sa 30:7 the arkS Jdg 18:5 of God.” (At that time it was with the Israelites.)Hebrew; Septuagint “Bring the ephod.” (At that time he wore the ephod before the Israelites.)19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest,Nu 27:21 “Withdraw your hand.”

20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, strikingS Jdg 7:22; Eze 38:21; Zec 14:13 each other with their swords.21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went1Sa 29:4 over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.22 When all the Israelites who had hiddenS 1Sa 13:6 in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.23 So on that day the Lord savedS Ex 14:30 Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.S Jos 7:2

Jonathan Eats Honey

24 Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath,Jos 6:26 saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.

25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground.26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath.27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb.ver 43; Ps 19:10; Pr 16:24; 24:13 He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.Or his strength was renewed; similarly in verse 2928 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”

29 Jonathan said, “My father has made troubleJos 7:25; 1Ki 18:18 for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey.30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”

31 That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmashver 5 to Aijalon,S Jos 10:12 they were exhausted.32 They pounced on the plunder1Sa 15:19; Est 9:10 and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood.S Ge 9:433 Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has bloodS Ge 9:4 in it.”

“You have broken faith,” he said. “Roll a large stone over here at once.”34 Then he said, “Go out among the men and tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood stillLev 19:26 in it.’”

So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there.35 Then Saul built an altarS 1Sa 7:17 to the Lord; it was the first time he had done this.

36 Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.”

“Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied.

But the priest said, “Let us inquireS Ge 25:22; S Jdg 18:5 of God here.”

37 So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer1Sa 28:6, 15; 2Sa 22:42; Ps 18:41 him that day.

38 Saul therefore said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committedJos 7:11 today.39 As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives,S Nu 14:21; 2Sa 12:5; Job 19:25; Ps 18:46; 42:2 even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan,ver 44 he must die.”Jos 7:15 But not one of them said a word.

40 Saul then said to all the Israelites, “You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here.”

“Do what seems best to you,” they replied.

41 Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault,Septuagint; Hebrew does not have “Why … at fault. respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared.42 Saul said, “Cast the lotJnh 1:7 between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.”S Jos 7:19

So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honeyS ver 27 with the end of my staff. And now I must die!”

44 Saul said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely,S Ru 1:17 if you do not die, Jonathan.ver 39

45 But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the Lord lives, not a hair1Ki 1:52; S Mt 10:30 of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued2Sa 14:11 Jonathan, and he was not put to death.

46 Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land.

47 After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab,S Ge 19:37 the Ammonites,S Ge 19:38; 2Sa 12:31 Edom,1Sa 21:7 the kingsMasoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint king of Zobah,2Sa 8:3; 10:6; 23:36 and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them.Hebrew; Septuagint he was victorious48 He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites,S Ge 36:12; Nu 13:29; Jdg 3:13; 1Sa 15:2, 7; 27:8; 28:18; 30:13; 2Sa 1:13; 1Ch 4:43 delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.

Saul’s Family

49 Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua.1Sa 31:2; 1Ch 8:33 The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal.S Ge 29:2650 His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner2Sa 2:8; 3:6; 1Ki 2:5 son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle.1Sa 10:1451 Saul’s father KishS 1Sa 9:1 and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel.

52 All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took1Sa 8:11 him into his service.

Jonathan’s Daring Plan

14 One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing.

Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate treeOr around the rock of Rimmon; compare Judg 20:45, 47; 21:13. at Migron.Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh.

No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp.To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh.The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba.“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

“Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.”

“All right, then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us.If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them.10 But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.”

11 When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”12 Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!”

“Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the Lord will help us defeat them!”

13 So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them.14 They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre.Hebrew half a yoke; a “yoke” was the amount of land plowed by a pair of yoked oxen in one day.

15 Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.

Israel Defeats the Philistines

16 Saul’s lookouts in Gibeah of Benjamin saw a strange sight—the vast army of Philistines began to melt away in every direction.As in Greek version; Hebrew reads they went and there.17 “Call the roll and find out who’s missing,” Saul ordered. And when they checked, they found that Jonathan and his armor bearer were gone.

18 Then Saul shouted to Ahijah, “Bring the ephod here!” For at that time Ahijah was wearing the ephod in front of the Israelites.As in some Greek manuscripts; Hebrew reads “Bring the Ark of God.” For at that time the Ark of God was with the Israelites.19 But while Saul was talking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp grew louder and louder. So Saul said to the priest, “Never mind; let’s get going!”Hebrew Withdraw your hand.

20 Then Saul and all his men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other. There was terrible confusion everywhere.21 Even the Hebrews who had previously gone over to the Philistine army revolted and joined in with Saul, Jonathan, and the rest of the Israelites.22 Likewise, the men of Israel who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim joined the chase when they saw the Philistines running away.23 So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle continued to rage even beyond Beth-aven.

Saul’s Foolish Oath

24 Now the men of Israel were pressed to exhaustion that day, because Saul had placed them under an oath, saying, “Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening—before I have full revenge on my enemies.” So no one ate anything all day,25 even though they had all found honeycomb on the ground in the forest.26 They didn’t dare touch the honey because they all feared the oath they had taken.

27 But Jonathan had not heard his father’s command, and he dipped the end of his stick into a piece of honeycomb and ate the honey. After he had eaten it, he felt refreshed.Or his eyes brightened; similarly in 14:29.28 But one of the men saw him and said, “Your father made the army take a strict oath that anyone who eats food today will be cursed. That is why everyone is weary and faint.”

29 “My father has made trouble for us all!” Jonathan exclaimed. “A command like that only hurts us. See how refreshed I am now that I have eaten this little bit of honey.30 If the men had been allowed to eat freely from the food they found among our enemies, think how many more Philistines we could have killed!”

31 They chased and killed the Philistines all day from Micmash to Aijalon, growing more and more faint.32 That evening they rushed for the battle plunder and butchered the sheep, goats, cattle, and calves, but they ate them without draining the blood.33 Someone reported to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that still has blood in it.”

“That is very wrong,” Saul said. “Find a large stone and roll it over here.34 Then go out among the troops and tell them, ‘Bring the cattle, sheep, and goats here to me. Kill them here, and drain the blood before you eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with the blood still in it.’”

So that night all the troops brought their animals and slaughtered them there.35 Then Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first of the altars he built to the Lord.

36 Then Saul said, “Let’s chase the Philistines all night and plunder them until sunrise. Let’s destroy every last one of them.”

His men replied, “We’ll do whatever you think is best.”

But the priest said, “Let’s ask God first.”

37 So Saul asked God, “Should we go after the Philistines? Will you help us defeat them?” But God made no reply that day.

38 Then Saul said to the leaders, “Something’s wrong! I want all my army commanders to come here. We must find out what sin was committed today.39 I vow by the name of the Lord who rescued Israel that the sinner will surely die, even if it is my own son Jonathan!” But no one would tell him what the trouble was.

40 Then Saul said, “Jonathan and I will stand over here, and all of you stand over there.”

And the people responded to Saul, “Whatever you think is best.”

41 Then Saul prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, please show us who is guilty and who is innocent.Greek version adds If the fault is with me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim; but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.” Then they cast sacred lots, and Jonathan and Saul were chosen as the guilty ones, and the people were declared innocent.

42 Then Saul said, “Now cast lots again and choose between me and Jonathan.” And Jonathan was shown to be the guilty one.

43 “Tell me what you have done,” Saul demanded of Jonathan.

“I tasted a little honey,” Jonathan admitted. “It was only a little bit on the end of my stick. Does that deserve death?”

44 “Yes, Jonathan,” Saul said, “you must die! May God strike me and even kill me if you do not die for this.”

45 But the people broke in and said to Saul, “Jonathan has won this great victory for Israel. Should he die? Far from it! As surely as the Lord lives, not one hair on his head will be touched, for God helped him do a great deed today.” So the people rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.

46 Then Saul called back the army from chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines returned home.

Saul’s Military Successes

47 Now when Saul had secured his grasp on Israel’s throne, he fought against his enemies in every direction—against Moab, Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. And wherever he turned, he was victorious.As in Greek version; Hebrew reads he acted wickedly.48 He performed great deeds and conquered the Amalekites, saving Israel from all those who had plundered them.

49 Saul’s sons included Jonathan, Ishbosheth,Hebrew Ishvi, a variant name for Ishbosheth; also known as Esh-baal. and Malkishua. He also had two daughters: Merab, who was older, and Michal.50 Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. The commander of Saul’s army was Abner, the son of Saul’s uncle Ner.51 Saul’s father, Kish, and Abner’s father, Ner, were both sons of Abiel.

52 The Israelites fought constantly with the Philistines throughout Saul’s lifetime. So whenever Saul observed a young man who was brave and strong, he drafted him into his army.

14 Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.

And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;

And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.

And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.

The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.

And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.

And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.

Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.

If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.

10 But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.

11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.

12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.

13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.

14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.

15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.

17 Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.

18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel.

19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand.

20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.

21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.

22 Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.

23 So the Lord saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.

24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.

25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.

26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.

27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.

28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.

29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.

30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?

31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.

32 And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.

33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.

34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.

35 And Saul built an altar unto the Lord: the same was the first altar that he built unto the Lord.

36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.

37 And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.

38 And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.

39 For, as the Lord liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.

40 Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.

41 Therefore Saul said unto the Lord God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.

42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.

44 And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.

45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.

46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.

47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.

48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.

49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal:

50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.

51 And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.

John 7:31-53

31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him.Jn 8:30; 10:42; 11:45; 12:11, 42 They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signsS Jn 2:11 than this man?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time,Jn 12:35; 13:33; 16:16 and then I am going to the one who sent me.Jn 16:5, 10, 17, 2834 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”ver 36; Jn 8:21; 13:33

35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scatteredS Jas 1:1 among the Greeks,Jn 12:20; Ac 17:4; 18:4 and teach the Greeks?36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”ver 34

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival,Lev 23:36 Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.Isa 55:1; Rev 22:1738 Whoever believesS Jn 3:15 in me, as Scripture has said,Isa 58:11 rivers of living waterS Jn 4:10 will flow from within them.”Or me. And let anyone drink 38 who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.”S Jn 4:1439 By this he meant the Spirit,Joel 2:28; Jn 1:33; Ac 2:17, 33 whom those who believed in him were later to receive.S Jn 20:22 Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.Jn 12:23; 13:31, 32

40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”S Mt 21:11

41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee?ver 52; Jn 1:4642 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendantsS Mt 1:1 and from Bethlehem,Mic 5:2; Mt 2:5, 6; Lk 2:4 the town where David lived?”43 Thus the people were dividedJn 6:52; 9:16; 10:19 because of Jesus.44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.ver 30

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,”S Mt 7:28 the guards replied.

47 “You mean he has deceived you also?”ver 12 the Pharisees retorted.48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?Jn 12:4249 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

50 Nicodemus,Jn 3:1; 19:39 who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked,51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”ver 41

[The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.]

53 Then they all went home,

31 Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”

32 When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were whispering such things, they and the leading priests sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus.33 But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me.34 You will search for me but not find me. And you cannot go where I am going.”

35 The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews in other lands?Or the Jews who live among the Greeks? Maybe he will even teach the Greeks!36 What does he mean when he says, ‘You will search for me but not find me,’ and ‘You cannot go where I am going’?”

Jesus Promises Living Water

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”Or “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart of anyone who believes in me.’”39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given,Several early manuscripts read But as yet there was no Spirit. Still others read But as yet there was no Holy Spirit. because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

Division and Unbelief

40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.”See Deut 18:15, 18; Mal 4:5-6.41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee?42 For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.”See Mic 5:2.43 So the crowd was divided about him.44 Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.

45 When the Temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded.

47 “Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked.48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him?49 This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”

50 Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up.51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.

52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comesSome manuscripts read the prophet does not come. from Galilee!”

[The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11.]

53 Then the meeting broke up, and everybody went home.

31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.

34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

53 And every man went unto his own house.

Psalm 109:1-31

Psalm 109

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

My God, whom I praise,S Ex 15:2; Jer 17:14

do not remain silent,S Job 34:29

for people who are wicked and deceitfulS Ps 43:1

have opened their mouths against me;

they have spoken against me with lying tongues.S Ps 52:4

With words of hatredPs 69:4 they surround me;

they attack me without cause.Ps 35:7; Jn 15:25

In return for my friendship they accuse me,

but I am a man of prayer.Ps 69:13; 141:5

They repay me evil for good,S Ge 44:4

and hatred for my friendship.

Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;

let an accuser1Ch 21:1; Job 1:6; Zec 3:1 stand at his right hand.

When he is tried, let him be found guilty,Ps 1:5

and may his prayers condemnPr 28:9; Isa 41:24 him.

May his days be few;S Job 15:32

may another take his placeAc 1:20* of leadership.

May his children be fatherless

and his wife a widow.Ex 22:24; Jer 18:21

10 May his children be wandering beggars;S Ge 4:12

may they be drivenSeptuagint; Hebrew sought from their ruined homes.

11 May a creditorNe 5:3 seize all he has;

may strangers plunderS Nu 14:3; Isa 1:7; 6:11; 36:1; La 5:2 the fruits of his labor.Job 20:18

12 May no one extend kindness to him

or take pityS Job 5:4 on his fatherless children.

13 May his descendants be cut off,Job 18:19; Ps 21:10

their names blotted outS Nu 14:12; Ps 9:5; Pr 10:7 from the next generation.

14 May the iniquity of his fathersEx 20:5; Nu 14:18; Isa 65:6-7; Jer 32:18 be remembered before the Lord;

may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

15 May their sins always remain beforePs 90:8 the Lord,

that he may blot out their nameS Ex 17:14; S Dt 32:26 from the earth.

16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,

but hounded to death the poor

and the needyS Job 20:19; S Ps 35:10 and the brokenhearted.S Ps 34:18

17 He loved to pronounce a curse—

may it come back on him.Pr 28:27; S Mt 7:2

He found no pleasure in blessing—

may it be far from him.

18 He wore cursingPs 10:7 as his garment;

it entered into his body like water,Nu 5:22

into his bones like oil.

19 May it be like a cloak wrappedver 29; Ps 73:6; Eze 7:27 about him,

like a belt tied forever around him.

20 May this be the Lord’s paymentS Ex 32:34; Ps 54:5; 94:23; Isa 3:11; 2Ti 4:14 to my accusers,

to those who speak evilPs 71:10 of me.

21 But you, Sovereign Lord,

help me for your name’s sake;S Ex 9:16; S Ps 23:3

out of the goodness of your love,Ps 69:16 deliver me.S Ps 3:7

22 For I am poor and needy,

and my heart is wounded within me.

23 I fade away like an evening shadow;S Job 14:2

I am shaken off like a locust.

24 My knees giveHeb 12:12 way from fasting;S Ps 35:13

my body is thin and gaunt.S Job 16:8

25 I am an object of scornS Ps 22:6 to my accusers;

when they see me, they shake their heads.S Job 16:4; S Mt 27:39; Mk 15:29

26 Help me,Ps 12:1; 119:86 Lord my God;

save me according to your unfailing love.

27 Let them knowS Job 37:7 that it is your hand,

that you, Lord, have done it.

28 While they curse,S 2Sa 16:12 may you bless;

may those who attack me be put to shame,

but may your servant rejoice.Ps 66:4; Isa 35:10; 51:11; 54:1; 65:14

29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace

and wrapped in shameS Ps 35:26 as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;

in the great throngS Ps 35:18 of worshipers I will praise him.

31 For he stands at the right handPs 16:8; 108:6 of the needy,

to save their lives from those who would condemn them.

Psalm 109

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O God, whom I praise,

don’t stand silent and aloof

while the wicked slander me

and tell lies about me.

They surround me with hateful words

and fight against me for no reason.

I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations

even as I am praying for them!

They repay evil for good,

and hatred for my love.

They say,Hebrew lacks They say. “Get an evil person to turn against him.

Send an accuser to bring him to trial.

When his case comes up for judgment,

let him be pronounced guilty.

Count his prayers as sins.

Let his years be few;

let someone else take his position.

May his children become fatherless,

and his wife a widow.

10 May his children wander as beggars

and be driven fromAs in Greek version; Hebrew reads and seek. their ruined homes.

11 May creditors seize his entire estate,

and strangers take all he has earned.

12 Let no one be kind to him;

let no one pity his fatherless children.

13 May all his offspring die.

May his family name be blotted out in the next generation.

14 May the Lord never forget the sins of his fathers;

may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record.

15 May the Lord always remember these sins,

and may his name disappear from human memory.

16 For he refused all kindness to others;

he persecuted the poor and needy,

and he hounded the brokenhearted to death.

17 He loved to curse others;

now you curse him.

He never blessed others;

now don’t you bless him.

18 Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing,

or the water he drinks,

or the rich food he eats.

19 Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing;

may they be tied around him like a belt.”

20 May those curses become the Lord’s punishment

for my accusers who speak evil of me.

21 But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord,

for the sake of your own reputation!

Rescue me

because you are so faithful and good.

22 For I am poor and needy,

and my heart is full of pain.

23 I am fading like a shadow at dusk;

I am brushed off like a locust.

24 My knees are weak from fasting,

and I am skin and bones.

25 I am a joke to people everywhere;

when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.

26 Help me, O Lord my God!

Save me because of your unfailing love.

27 Let them see that this is your doing,

that you yourself have done it, Lord.

28 Then let them curse me if they like,

but you will bless me!

When they attack me, they will be disgraced!

But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!

29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;

may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.

30 But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,

praising him to everyone.

31 For he stands beside the needy,

ready to save them from those who condemn them.

109 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.

13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15 Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.

17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.

19 Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.

20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.

21 But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.

24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.

25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.

26 Help me, O Lord my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it.

28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

30 I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Proverbs 15:5-7

A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,

but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.S Pr 10:17; S 12:1; S 13:1

The house of the righteous contains great treasure,S Pr 8:21

but the income of the wicked brings ruin.S Pr 10:16

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,S ver 2; S Pr 10:13

but the hearts of fools are not upright.

Only a fool despises a parent’sHebrew father’s. discipline;

whoever learns from correction is wise.

There is treasure in the house of the godly,

but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.

The lips of the wise give good advice;

the heart of a fool has none to give.

A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

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